NETTA LOOGATHA | ‘Fish Net – Mijilda III' | Painting / acrylic on canvas

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Fish nets were made from native hibiscus fibre, which is very common. The fibre was stripped from the branches and soaked in the sand near the running water creek. After three to four weeks it was taken up, dried, and then processed into a string, and finally woven into a fish net. These were then used to trap large sea prey such as dugongs and turtles.

 

"I was only a small child when our people were brought to Mornington Island and forced to live in the mission. I grew up in the dormitory, like all the other children. My father King Alfred was killed when I was only a baby so I was really grown up by the missionaries. It was hard, they were cruel to us if we were naughty and would lock us up or cut our hair really short. As I grew into a young woman I went and worked on lots of cattle stations around Cloncurry and ended up moving to Darwin where I had a partner and lived there for 30 years away from Mornington Island and Bentinck Island. I only came back in 2008 so that I could be with my family and live back on Bentinck Island. When old May died the other Bentenck artists asked me to come and join their group and paint at the Art Centre. I had done a little bit of painting in Darwin on small canvas boards more for fun than anything else. I really like to go to the Art Centre and paint with old Aunty Sally and my other sisters. We have so much fun. I paint Thundi where I was born and Makarrki where my father was born. It makes me feel good and proud when I see the finished painting" - Netta Loogatha

 

NETTA LOOGATHA | ‘Fish Net – Mijilda III' | 2020 | 30.5 x 40.6 cm